How to Grow Orchids Outside

Опубликовал Admin
21-06-2018, 20:00
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Expert Reviewed If you want to grow orchids outside, there are some fairly simple steps you'll need to take. You'll have to find out which orchids will grow in your region and climate. You'll also need to regulate shade and water to help the orchid grow. While the most common method is to grow orchids in pots, you can also grow them in the ground, in raised beds, or even on trees.

Selecting Orchids

  1. Choose a variety of orchid that thrives in your climate. Find a variety of orchid which can grow outdoors in your area. Call your local garden stores or search "orchids native to (your area)" in a search engine.
    • In areas where summer nights get cooler than 60 °F (16 °C), consider growing cymbidiums.
    • If summer nights stay consistently above 60 °F (16 °C), try growing vandas or cattleyas.
  2. Buy an orchid from a plant store instead of planting orchid seeds. Plant stores (and many grocery and general stores) sell orchids year-round. Go to your favorite plant store and ask if they have the orchids that grow naturally in your area. Buy orchid plants as opposed to buying orchid seeds, as orchid seeds require sterile conditions and will take 2-5 years to bloom.
    • If they don't have the specific orchid you're looking for, ask them which orchids grow well in your area. They'll be able to point you toward an orchid that will thrive outside.
    • Alternatively, you can buy orchids online.
  3. Wait until after the last frost to put your orchids outside. Orchids are tropical plants and don't do well in cold temperatures. Make sure that the average temperature is above 55 °F (13 °C) before putting your orchids outside.
    • If you need to bring your orchids inside, place them in a north, south, or east facing window.

Planting Orchids Outside

  1. Expose potted orchids to sunlight gradually. Potted orchids should be allowed to acclimate to the sun. Start with 1-2 hours of morning and evening sun a day. Then, after a week, move your orchid into an area with 3-4 hours of morning and evening sun. After 1-2 more weeks, move the orchid into an area where it receives sun before 10 am and after 2 pm. After that point, you can plant the orchid outdoors.
    • Orchids don't like full intense sun, so find a spot outside that gets shade from around 10-2; you want to make sure your orchid is getting only morning and evening sun, when it's cooler.
  2. Pot your orchids for convenience and mobility. Potting your orchid will allow you to move it to any location you like. Choose a pot with a drainage hole at the bottom, as the orchid's roots may rot if there's too much water in the pot. Gently remove the orchid from the pot it came in and place it into a pot that is the same size or slightly larger. The orchid should be secure enough in the pot that it doesn't wiggle. If necessary, fill in the extra space with a mixture of 2 parts fir bark or orchid bark mix to 1 part peat moss.
    • Do not place the pot in a secondary pot.
    • Be sure to always clean out your pot thoroughly before planting the orchid.
  3. Grow terrestrial orchids for a beautiful addition to your garden. Replace the soil where you want to plant with a mixture of equal parts sand, sphagnum moss (sometimes called "orchid moss"), and gravel. Make sure your orchid has at least 1 ft (0.30 m) of the gravel mixture under it and around it. Dig a hole large enough for the orchid, plant it, then fill the empty space with the gravel mixture.
    • Terrestrial orchids of the Pleione, Sobralia, Calanthe, Phaius and Bletia genuses can be grown in a well-drained area with a lot of shade.
    • Alternatively, you can make a raised bed to plant your orchids into.
  4. Try hanging your orchids on trees for a unique yard accent. Gently tie stem of the orchid to the tree with a cotton string (or any biodegradable string). Within 1 year, the string will deteriorate and the orchid will cling to the tree with its roots. This method is best if you live in an area with warm temperatures and frequent rainfall.
    • Use trees that admit some light down to the trunk, such as oaks, citrus, bottlebrush, and palms.
    • In areas that get 6-8 hours of full sun a day, try growing a vanda orchid.
    • In areas that don't get much full sun, grow oncidiums, phalaenopsis, and cattleyas.

Maintaining Outdoor Orchids

  1. Water your orchid's roots in the morning every few days. Water the orchid at the root early in the day, avoiding the leaves. Place it under a kitchen sink and run the tap for 15 seconds, then place it somewhere it can drain and dry. Watering in the morning will ensure that your orchid will have more sunlight to help it grow. If you wait until night to water it, it will be moist all night, which can lead to mildewing.
    • Avoid over-watering by checking the soil's moisture with your finger. If the soil feels wet, wait 1 more day to water the orchid.
  2. Spray orchids with homemade pesticide every 3 weeks. Spray your orchid's leaves with a mixture of 1  qt (950 ml) water, 2-3 drops of neem oil, and a drop of liquid dish detergent every 3 weeks to keep insects away.
    • Apply only enough of the mixture to cover the plant; the rest can be used on other garden plants if you'd like. Remake this mixture every time you spray for bugs, as opposed to keeping it; the ingredients will break down soon after mixing with water.
    • Keep your potted orchids off the ground, so pests can't easily crawl into them.
  3. Remove weeds as soon as you notice them sprouting. Keep some large tweezers near your orchids so you can pull weeds out as soon as you see them. Weeds are any small plant, usually green, growing unwanted in the same area as your orchid.
    • Removing the bulb or root below the weed will give you the best chance at permanently wiping out the weed. Dig under where you found the green growth until the entire root or bulb comes out.
  4. Treat black rot or brown spot by cutting off the infected area. If your orchid develops brown, black, or translucent patches upon its skin, sterilize a pair of scissors or a knife by soaking them in rubbing alcohol for 15 minutes, then cutting off the infected area. Spray a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water on the cut area and throw the infected cutting away.
    • Cut the infected area away until there is only health tissue on the plant. Diseases can easily spread if they're left on the orchid.
    • These diseases are spread by water. Prevent them by making sure your orchid is draining properly in loose soil, and consider moving the orchid to an area with more air circulation.
    • Make sure that you sanitize your cutting tools after removing the infected plant material to avoid contaminating other plants.

Tips

  • If an orchid doesn't grow naturally in your region, alter the environment of the orchid by regulating water and moving the orchid around to change light as necessary.
  • If you live in hot and humid weather, like Florida and Southeast Asia, grow Vanda and Epidendrum orchids outside. For mild weather in the daytime and cool temperatures at night, such as in Southern California or coastal New Zealand and Australia, plant Cymbidium in your garden.

Warnings

  • Butterflies or bees could pollinate orchids placed outside. Pollination may cause the orchid to go to seed and stop flowering.
  • Check your orchids, including the root balls, for pests before taking the orchids back inside.
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